Since its inception, Jaguar was quite well known in style and driving joy. Each generation of the British manufacturer (exception made for S-Type and X-Type) has offered fascinating styling and great performance. Back in 2007, the XF was a radical step forward for Jaguar and for the business car segment. Combining a sleek, coupe-like exterior and a luxurious interior, it set the class benchmark for aesthetics and driving dynamics. Now in 2015, with a model year 2016, the all new XF was remodeled to face the German competition!
The dynamic, coupe-like design is formed around Jaguar's aluminum-intensive architecture and combines the outstanding proportions, elegant surfaces and perfect lines which define all Jaguar cars, with a longer wheelbase, more interior space and exceptionally low aerodynamic drag.
The all new XF is also the first Jaguar to offer adaptive full-LED headlights. Featuring two banks of LEDs and reflectors - one for dipped beam, the other for main beam - they generate light with a color temperature closer to that of daylight than is achievable with Xenon lights, delivering better illumination. At the same time, energy consumption is reduced. So efficient are they that, unlike first-generation designs, cooling fans are not needed. If the high-beam assist function is specified, the stereo camera will detect other vehicles in the distance, and the headlights will be dipped automatically as necessary to avoid dazzling other drivers.
The cabin is a seamless blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology, with features such as a reconfigurable 12.3 inch TFT instrument cluster, laser head-up display and the InControl Touch Pro premium infotainment system - the all new XF is the most connected Jaguar ever.
Features such as the rotary shift controller, rotating air vents and phosphor blue ambient lighting set the cabin apart from the competition and made the XF a highly desirable, aspirational vehicle. It was like nothing Jaguar had ever made before, and like nothing the competition could offer. The XF went on to become the most-awarded Jaguar ever.
Infotainment and connectivity is the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered. The all-new InControl Touch Pro system builds on the intuitive user interface of InControl Touch, and supports all the same features - including InControl Apps, InControl Remote and Wi-Fi hotspot - but offers a 10.2 inch touchscreen and Dual View technology which simultaneously allows the driver to see information such as navigation, while the front seat passenger watches TV or a DVD.
To minimize driver distraction the all new XF offers a color laser head-up display. Compared to competitor systems, this technology is smaller, lighter, and generates high contrast images which are easier to read in strong sunlight.
The all new XF retains its predecessor's core attributes, but uses Jaguar's aluminum-intensive architecture to enable weight savings of up to 190kg plus an increase in torsional stiffness of up to 28 percent. The architecture also delivers dramatic improvements in packaging and the proportions so essential to Jaguar design.
The all new XF is 4,954mm long: at 2,960 the wheelbase is 51mm longer than before, the front overhang 66mm shorter. Though 7mm shorter and 3mm lower than the original XF, rear seat space is class-leading thanks to 15mm more legroom, 24mm more knee room and up to 27mm more headroom than before. Aerodynamics are also superior: the drag coefficient drops from 0.29 to just 0.26.
The light, stiff body is also fundamental to the all new XF's superb vehicle dynamics. Double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension - combined with near-50:50 weight distribution - deliver the ideal balance between ride and handling.
Jaguar Configurable Dynamics technology, optional on all V6 models, provides the ultimate in control and enables the driver to individually tailor settings of the dampers, steering, engine and eight speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive (AWD) was engineered into the vehicle from day one. The torque on-demand system is new, and the transfer case features a lighter, quieter, more efficient chain drive.
Capability is also enhanced by the advanced control system first used in F-TYPE AWD: Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). This delivers rear-drive handling with the performance and traction benefits of AWD.
A first for XF AWD is the addition of the Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) mode to Jaguar Drive Control. Leveraging Jaguar Land Rover's unrivalled expertise, AdSR identifies the type of surface, such as snow or gravel, and adapts the mapping of the engine, transmission, steering and Dynamic Stability Control to make the vehicle even more composed in low-grip conditions.
Ability is unrivalled in rear-wheel drive form too. All-Surface Progress Control, developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions, automatically manages the brakes and the throttle to deliver the best possible traction, enabling the car to pull away smoothly and without drama: the driver only has to steer. ASPC operates between 3.6km/h and 30km/h, and the desired speed is set by the driver using the cruise control switches.
The old days of Jaguar under Ford ownership are gone! Jaguar is now on a hot strip, progressively tossing out quality vehicles, under Tata Motors' supervision. Jag's engineers are outwardly happy because they are doing what they were always good at: making elegant cars with astrophysical handling. It's the proper time to seriously consider an XF!
One word: nimbler
Rivals: BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti Q70, Maserati Ghibli, Hyundai Genesis, Lexus GS
Pros: enjoyable to drive, attractive on the outside, more comfortable on the inside, more competitive price that includes more features
Cons: competitors offer better fuel economy, lack of engine options
3.0L supercharged, V6, 380 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 450 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
ZF 8HP45 8 speed automatic, RWD/AWD
0-100 kph: 5.3 sec, top speed: 250 kph, fuel consumption: 8.3L /100 km
Weight: 1710 kg